2013 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
Archbishop David Moxon is now, formally, Archbishop Sir David Moxon – an honour he calls “a complete bolt out of the blue.” In the New Year’s Honours he’s been appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit “in recognition of his services to the Anglican Church.” “I was very, very surprised,” he said today. “I genuinely don’t think of myself in that league at all.” Archbishop Sir David Moxon – that will become his formal title – is presently in Raglan with his family, on holiday from his job in Rome as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
The Roman Catholic co-chair of the Third Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has expressed his personal view that, seeing how in 1993 certain relaxations were made in the Vatican’s rules on eucharistic sharing, further relaxation is possible. Speaking last week to the Gazette editor following a joint session of the National Advisers’ Committee on Ecumenism of the Irish (Roman Catholic) Episcopal Conference and representatives of the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the Most Rev. Bernard Longley — Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham and ARCIC III co-chair — referred to the changes in “specified circumstances” set out in the 1993 Ecumenism Directory.
In their first meeting, Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis both spoke this morning of the bonds of “friendship” and “love” between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
The two leaders agreed that the fruits of this dialogue and relationship have the potential to empower Christians around the world to demonstrate the love of Christ.
The Archbishop and the Pope agreed on the need to build an economic system which promotes “the common good” to help those suffering in poverty.
The new director of the Anglican Centre in Rome says he sees promising signs for more visible ecumenism in these early days of Pope Francis’s pontificate. The Most Rev. David Moxon, who became ACR’s director on May 23, says he’s been steadily encouraged by symbolic acts, such as the pope’s solicitation of prayers from a diverse crowd in St. Peter’s Square and his washing of at least one non-Christian’s feet during Holy Week. “These are signs of hope in a very down to earth and genuine way,” Archbishop Moxon said via email from Rome. In addition to his role as director, Moxon is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.
The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations is, in part, down to who will succeed Pope Benedict, according to the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.
Responding to today’s surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Very Rev. David Richardson said the implications for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations in the long term “will depend on who is elected to succeed him.”
However, Richardson, who is also director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that other relationships continue despite the change in leadership.
In a surprise announcement, this morning Pope Benedict XVI informed the cardinals gathered in Consistory that he has decided to resign effective February 28 for health reasons. The resignation apparently surprised even his closest of aides. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415 during the Council of Constance as a means of resolving the Western Schism. The Vatican expects a conclave will elect the next pope before the end of March. According to the BBC, Benedict XVI is not expected to take part in the conclave to elect his successor. The Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, announced that Benedict would retire to Castel Gandolfo after his resignation. More details are expected in the coming weeks.